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Have you ever developed a blister? I’ve gotten blisters on my hands, usually from using garden tools without gloves. I’ve also had them on the heel of my foot. Those on the foot can make it painful to walk. Nobody likes blisters!
Blisters form under constant irritation. Something continually rubs against your skin, like a new pair of shoes. The constant friction eventually raises the blister. This is a great mental picture when reading Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” (NIV) The word embitter means to stir up, to provoke, to irritate. It talks about one who is continually needling another person.
This is inappropriate for fathers. They must avoid constant friction with their children. Continually harping at them and irritating them discourages them. Think of it as an emotional blister. A parallel passage in Ephesians 6:4 gives the alternative. It says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
So, combining the instruction in these passages tells fathers to encourage their children, train them and teach them about God. As an example, watch the heavenly Father. God challenges, corrects, teaches, loves and encourages. But He does not irritate or provoke us to anger. He is a God of love and grace. If you are a father, be like him!
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.